Minimalists and other junk

Bill Rea cctr114 at its.canterbury.ac.nz
Mon Nov 15 15:44:44 EST 1999


Ian Hutchesson wrote:-

>If some of the basic presuppositions used in the interpretation of biblical
>Hebrew are in error then, one's assumptions about biblical Hebrew need to
>be revised. Some people on this list seem to be interested in the
>historical linguistics of Hebrew: if the time frames are wrong, the
>historical linguistic analyses are also wrong. 

Please explain why you think this. I have followed with great interest
the discussion of models put forward by Rolf Furuli and others about
the Hebrew verbal system, discussions of various nuances of translation
of participles, discusions of the meaning of key words in various
passages, and so on.  I don't see how the dating of, say, the Pharoahs
of Egypt, or, say, whether the "minimalist position" is motivated by
anti-semiticism, does or does not support Eastern peace, and similar
topics, have much to speak to these matters.

>When did that we call
>biblical Hebrew stop being used as a medium for literature?

It never did. The problem is that in a list such as this there
isn't really the time and space to devote to studying the Hebrew
Bible as literature. We have to recognise the limitations of the
medium and make the best use of what we have. In our case the list
is really good for nuts-and-bolts discussions. Reading an email of 
more than a page or two quickly becomes tedious, yet sitting down
with a book and working through a passage for a hour or so in the
evening is great. 

Bill Rea, Information Technology Services, University of Canterbury  \_ 
E-Mail b dot rea at its dot canterbury dot ac dot nz                 </   New 
Phone   64-3-364-2331, Fax     64-3-364-2332                        /)  Zealand 
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